Affordable Care Act

An Indiana House Democrat says Governor Pence and Attorney General Zoeller have to back down from the state’s lawsuit over the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate. 

That provision of the ACA requires employers with 50 or more employees who work at least 30 hours a week to provide health insurance or pay fines.  Fifteen Indiana school corporations joined the state in filing a lawsuit against the IRS and other federal agencies.  The suit says the employer mandate shouldn’t apply to state governments and public school corporations.

Governor Mike Pence expressed frustration with the federal government shutdown Friday, calling on the president and congressional leaders to find common ground. 

Earlier this week, Pence made remarks that seemingly indicated he thought the government shutdown was worthwhile.  On Friday, the governor said he was speaking broadly about efforts to repeal or delay the Affordable Care Act and that he’s disappointed in the shutdown.  He also called out the Obama administration, saying the president needs to take the lead in working out a deal in Congress. 

A federal health insurance marketplace – a major portion of the Affordable Care Act – is about to become available to Hoosiers.  The state is working to prepare its citizens for the start of the enrollment period, which is October 1.

Uninsured Hoosiers and those who pay for their own coverage, not through their employer, will have access to several private insurance options.  And the state has set up a website to help guide residents. 

Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) is drumming up support of a bill he says will help part-time workers and their employers.

He worked with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) on a bill that defines a full-time employee as one who works 40 hours.

Donnelly says the Affordable Care Act uses 30 hours, and that has caused businesses to cut part-time workers’ hours.

IN legislature nearly finished with ACA implementation decisions

Apr 21, 2013

House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says the legislature is largely finished dealing with implementation of the Affordable Care Act this session. 

Both the House and Senate proposed legislation guiding the Pence administration on ways to proceed with implementation of the federal healthcare bill.  But the House bill failed to pass and Ways and Means Chair Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) put a halt to the Senate bill, saying legislation passed in 2011 allowing the governor to negotiate for expansion through the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) was adequate. 

IN General Assembly begins second half of session

Mar 4, 2013

Indiana lawmakers get back to work this week for the second half of their legislative session. Besides the budget bill, roughly 200 other measures are being considered in the House and Senate between now and the April 29th deadline.

Representative Randy Truitt (R-West Lafayette) says there are a number of education-related bills still up for debate.

State lawmakers say debate and discussion about how to implement federal health care reform in Indiana can continue within legislation approved by the Senate.  However, the bill does not automatically implement an expansion of Medicaid.

An overwhelming majority of senators approved the measure, which directs the state to continue negotiating with the federal government in an effort to receive federal Medicaid dollars in block grant form.  That would give the state greater flexibility as it implements the Affordable Care Act. 

Democratic state lawmakers are proposing legislation that would expand the state’s Medicaid program and establish a state-run healthcare exchange.  While Medicaid expansion remains somewhat of an open question, GOP lawmakers say a state exchange won’t happen, at least for now.

The federal Affordable Care Act mandates the creation of healthcare exchanges. Those would be a type of marketplace for insurance companies and consumers in each state.  The exchanges can either be run by the state, the federal government, or a collaboration between the two.

Democratic lawmakers say it’s time for Indiana to begin a serious discussion about healthcare, including potential expansion of Medicaid.  They have proposed legislation dealing with implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

The proposed bill authored by Senator Karen Tallian (D-Portage) would create a state-run healthcare exchange – a kind of marketplace for insurance companies and customers. It also would expand the state’s Medicaid program to add as many as 400,000 Hoosiers.

New state estimates predict Indiana’s Medicaid costs will increase between $600 million and $2.6 billion over a seven year period once the Affordable Care Act goes into effect.

The wide difference in potential cost calculated by Milliman Incorporated, the state’s actuary, is based on whether the state decides to expand Medicaid.  If the state does not expand the health care program, it will still see an increase of $612 million dollars.  If full expansion occurs, it would cost $2.6 billion.